Is it too good to be true?

We have all heard the phrase “If it is too good to be true? The price of an RV you are looking to purchase is advertised so much below market average that you must ask yourself, “is this too good to be true”? What is wrong with this RV for it to be priced so low? A light bulb goes off and you wonder how much does an RV inspection cost?

Why is it important to get an RV Inspection?

Purchasing an RV is a very serious undertaking. It can be just as expensive as purchasing a house. It really doesn’t matter if you are thinking about getting a small Pop-up for a family vacation or a Class A Diesel Pusher to live in full-time.

Just as if you were purchasing a house, you would want it done by a certified home inspector – not a local handyman. Same goes for an RV.

You fell in love with the layout and the features that the RV has and the seller indicates that all the maintenance has been performed on a regular basis. Sounds great, doesn’t it?

Do you have the knowledge to test the RV systems?

Ask yourself, do you know how to test for LP gas leaks? Do you know how to test that the AC units are cooling properly? Do you know if the RV Refrigerator has a pending recall? Do you know what a “Hot Skin” condition is and how to detect it?

Is it a good idea to get an RV inspection?

If you answered no to these few questions above, you need an RV inspection. Why spend your hard-earned money on a RV you love only to find out later that it is a lemon? Maybe the purchase price is at your maximum spend and if a RV item quits working, you won’t have the money to repair it.

All RVs, new and old, can have issues with their systems that a qualified inspector can uncover.

RV Finance companies and Extended Warranty companies require an inspection

More and more RV finance companies are asking the buyer to provide an “inspection report” to protect their investment. Buyers that pay cash should have an inspection to protect their investment as well.

Many Extended Warranty companies are requiring an inspection to verify the RV systems are in working order and well as the condition of the tires.

RV Inspection Cost

RV Inspection cost can be as little as $250 and as high as $1200. The pricing depends on the level of inspection that is being performed. It is also based on the type of RV inspected. It would not make sense to spend $1200 on a $5000 travel trailer but to spend $1200 on a $300K Diesel Pusher Motorhome, that would be a wise investment.

Please post your comments or questions near the top of this article and we will answer them as soon as possible.



29 Responses

  1. Good afternoon Al,

    I’m looking at an 36′ 2004 Holiday Rambler Neptune with 60,000 miles in San Tan Valley, on ebay. What does a good inspection for this model run?

    • Thanks George for reaching out to us. Since RV inspectors are independant owners,the pricing will vary but you are looking somewhere between $550-800.00. You can search our inspectors association website to find an inspector in your area.

  2. My wife and I are thinking about purchasing a brand new 2019 “Little Guy Max” from a dealer in Mesa Arizona, question one (1), do you recommend an inspection on a new trailer, two (2), how would the dealer react seeing an NRVIA level two (2), inspector, inspecting the trailer and three (3), how much would it approximately cost for the inspection. I am looking forward to hearing back from you.
    Respectfully: Harald and Amy

    • Good morning. Thanks for reaching out to us. Here are my answers to your questions.

      1. We have inspected approx 45 – 2018 model RVs this year (some are with FEMA for hurricane vicitims and others for private buyers). I would say at least 50% have some issue. Some life safety issues and others are quality issues. Answer is: Yes I recommend.
      2. Good question. Most dealers welcome an inspector but some are not keen on the idea. Make your best deal with a dealer, give them a small deposit, subject to a 3rd party inspection and your approval of the inspection. If they don’t accept your offer, ask why and you might need to walk away from them?
      3. Since all of us certified inspectors are independant business owners, I can only give you a range, not knowing what each inspector charges. Range is: $300.00 to $400.00.

      I know a few inspectors in the Phoenix area I can refer you too if you decide to move ahead and get an inspection.


  3. What if you paid $750 to get a even inspected and the first time it rains you find out the slide out leaks and you look and there is rot damage on the floor from prior leaks. Also, is now leaking in the cabinets from the roof in the same slide out. Dealer took the $750 for the inspection and now want $550 to fix what they missed. Any recourse? 2013 Keystone

    • Hello Pam,

      Thanks for reaching out to us. Wow, sorry to hear this happened to you. We always encourge folks to get a 3rd party independent inspection versus relying on a dealers inspection because the dealer has a vested interest in the sale as an independent inspector does not. I don’t know what recourse you have. It might be best to seek an attorney’s advice, although, I suspect the dollar amount involved is too small for them to get involved. FYI – Just so happens that “The RV Show USA” radio show has a “RV Lemon Law” attorney on the show tonight. You can listen in via YouTube or Facebook live. Just search “The RV Show USA”. Thanks Al

  4. Good evening,
    We’re looking at purchasing a 2008 Airstream. It’s located in Melbourne Fl.
    Could you confirm whether this would be done and what fees would be.
    Guy M.

    • Good morning sir. Can you provide more details about the Airstream in order for us to provide you with accurate pricing? Is it a motorhome or travel trailer?

      As far as scheduling the inspection, you didn’t indicate when you desire it to happen. Please provide that info as well as our schedule changes regularly.


  5. Used Class A – 2005 Damon Intruder 391 37700 Kennedale, Texas 76060. What does a good inspection for this model run?

    • Good morning Tim,

      Since all inspectors are independant business owners there is going to be different pricing but an average for a Class A motorhome is going to be $500-700 (best guess). You may also incur travel expenses based on how far an inspector is from the RV. I hope this helps.

  6. Our widowed neighbor was told she needed to pay $5,000 to have her RV inspected to sell it. Is someone scamming her?

  7. I like that you said that just as if you were purchasing a house, you would want it done by a certified home inspector and the same goes for an RV. My husband and I are thinking about buying an RV or a trailer because we think that it would make camping a lot easier and so we would go more. I think that having our trailer or RV inspected would be smart because then we would know what needed to be worked on or if we were good to go or whatever the state of it was. I think that it would just help better prepare us for owning one.

  8. I am looking to buy a thor sr22 class c motorhome. It is a 2017. I am not familiar with rv purchasing. What would I need to know about getting an inspector and assuring that a good job is done ?It is a private party sale. What if the owner objects?

    • Hello Glenn

      You need to find an inspector that will go thru all the componets like they were going to purchase the RV themsleves. There a few inspection services out there that only exam a few componets. Are they insured? Can they provide testimonils? etc.
      As far as if the owner objects, which has happended to us before, I would ask why? are they hiding something? my thoughts.

  9. Hi: We are looking at a 2018 Cougar RES. If we get an inspection thru your company, what are the assurances if something is missed.

    • Hello, Thanks for contacting us. As far as any assurances of something that is missed, we use a software similar to a home inspector. We follow along testting all the componets, etc., so it is hard to miss something. There are no warranties, etc available from us as the RV could be test driven, etc which could cause issues or someone could damage a device after we leave the RV. Did this answer your questions and/or concerns?

  10. I like how you mentioned that an inspection can cost as little as $250. My husband and I are wanting to buy one soon so we can take our kids on a camping trip in a couple of weeks. We’ll have to look into hiring someone who can do an RV inspection before we buy one!

  11. I live in Georgia and am considering purchasing a 2018 Lance 1575 from a private party near Melbourne Fl How much would an inspection be for this RV. I am new to camping and this will be our first RV. Would like to be able to coordinate inspection at time we go for our initial visit.

  12. Do regular inspection of your RV roof at least twice a year and even earlier when the roof is exposed to harsh weather conditions. To repair leaks and prevent them further down the road use RV Roof Magic. Even the tiniest of leaks could become a big problem if you don’t quickly repair them with RV Roof Magic.

  13. Hi there! We are looking to purchase a 2018 Coachmen Catalina SBX 26 ft trailer and would like to have it inspected before we buy it from the private owner. How much would an inspection on a trailer like this run?

    Thank you!

    • I apolgize as your email went to spam. Not sure why. Anyway, all RV inspectors are independant business owners so prices vary. You can expect to pay between $395-$495 for an inspection not including any travel fees if it applies.

  14. Thank you for your article. My question is based on fly-n-drive, inspection and purchase for a new Class C MBS Sprinter during the shutdowns. (Dealer is 2600 miles away).
    My plan: (1) Agree on purchase price with dealer. (2) refundable deposit. (3) NRVIA Inspector submits punch list to dealer. (4) Dealer fixes items (5) Second inspection and sign-off from inspector, then (6) I fly out to finalize financing and pick up the rig.
    Stipulation: Deposit is fully refundable if it doesn’t pass second inspection, or punchlist not completed or signed off on by the inspector.
    Does this seem to be doable, or is there a better approach. I understand I’d be paying for two inspections.
    Thank you.

    • Larry,
      Thanks for the email. Your thoughts are right-on but the execution of your plan may not be realistic. My thoughts: # 2 – Refundable deposits depends on a certain dealership, some will, some won’t from what we have been told. # 3 – An NRVIA inspector, by our code of ethics, cannot represent the buyer or seller in transactions. We are to remain an independent 3rd party so you would have to submit the “punch list” and verify they agree to the items. # 5 – We have been hired to perform an inspection of punch list items only (to verify repairs) and submit confirmation to the buyer they were indeed repaired.
      The 2nd inspection would only be of the repair items and would be based on time and travel if needed. The cost would be greatly reduced from the initial full inspection price.
      As I mentioned above, great plan, nothing wrong with it but it all depends on the dealer and their desire to meet all of your demands.
      Safe Travels

  15. Hello.
    My wife and I signed the title today on a 1997 coachman catalina class A 32ft. It was gifted to us by a family friend that couldn’t use it anymore. It has been sitting for about 5yrs. We got it started and drove it home. The last state inspection was in 2014. From what I can determine (probably more to fix than what I can see), passenger side front windshield has a 2ft crack in it. 3 tires (2 front. One rear), need replaced. Batteries (3) need replaced). There is a shimmy/shaking when I drove it home. I’m assuming it was the bad front tires. Couldn’t go past 35mph without it shaking. Refrigerator didn’t get cold when we plugged it in. Front passenger side window needs resealed. Small patch of staining on the passenger side front floor. In front of the seat. Floors solid. Roofs solid. Ac works. Just about everything else worked as it should. My question is, what can I expect to spend on a state inspection in Pennsylvania. I’m calling Monday to arrange an appointment. I dont like surprises but any input would be greatly appreciated. Based on what I shared that I know needs replaced/fixed. What do you think the minimum I could be possibly be looking to spend to get a current Pa inspection?

    • Jeremy,

      I know there are “state inspections” in some states around the U.S. but I am un-familar what they entail.

      As far as an RV inspection, it is like a home inspection but for an RV. Most folks hire an RV inspector to inspect a RV they are considering purchasing. This way they can negoiate with the seller on repairs. We have been hired and I’m sure some other inspectors have been hired after folks purchased a RV to determine what issues there are so they can get them repaired. You can search this website to look for a certified inspector:

      Good luck as you move forward. Safe Travels!

    • It is never too late to get an inspection but if a dealer already has your monies, they dont have much incentive to repair any items found not to be working during the inspection. Does this answer your question?

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